It’s not hard to see why tarantulas make great pets. They’re easy-going, require little care, and are fun to watch. However, they are known to have one mischievous trait- they’re escape artists.
Nothing is more frightening than noticing an empty cage, especially if you have other pets, children, or arachnophobic family members. So before you buy a tarantula, it’s necessary to know how to keep it in its enclosure.
How do you prevent your tarantula from escaping? The best way to prevent your tarantula from escaping is to be vigilant. Most of the time, these critters escape due to human error, such as leaving your tarantula unattended while cleaning its cage. Vigilance and a good quality terrarium are all you need when it comes to keeping a tarantula in its terrarium.
Want to learn more about averting a tarantula on the loose crisis? Keep reading below!
Reasons tarantulas commonly escape and how to prevent them
Before you try to prevent your tarantula from taking an unintended stroll in your home, it’s important to know how they escape in the first place. This way, you’ll know what to look for, and how to correct it. Below, you’ll find common ways tarantulas get loose.
It crawled through a small, open space
That little hole in the corner of your tarantula’s cage that you can’t even fit your finger through? Yeah, your tarantula can get through it.
These creatures are tenacious when it comes to squeezing through tight spaces. It’s surprising, and amazing when it comes to the small spaces they crawl through.
Even if you think the hole is much too small, your best bet is to assume your spider can push through it. Block off any holes in your tarantula’s terrarium, or opt for a cage with no holes at all.
It escaped when you turned your back
It’s feeding time. You open the cage, turn your back for a second to grab your crickets. When you look back to the cage, the tarantula is gone.
Despite the most popular breeds moving quite slowly, it only takes a few seconds for your tarantula to get out of its cage if you’re not paying close attention.
To prevent this, have your tarantula’s food ready to go before you open the cage. Only then should you open the terrarium for feeding. This way, you can give your pet undivided attention.
It chewed through its enclosure
Chewing may seem like a strange hobby for a tarantula, but it’s something they enjoy. It’s actually quite common, especially among terrestrial tarantulas. It’s an inconvenience if your tarantula chews its styrofoam dish or cork burrow.
However, it’s more serious if your tarantula chews on metal or plastic wire in its enclosure. With enough effort, your spider can weaken these wires, bend them, and crawl through the open space.
If your tarantula’s cage has metal or plastic wires, monitor the condition of the cage frequently. If you catch your tarantula chewing or see wear on the delicate cage structure, opt for a more durable terrarium.
It pushed open an unsecured door or lid
Those little spiders are stronger than you think. It’s no trouble at all for a tarantula to push open a door or lid that you didn’t properly secure. While it’s no trouble for them, it’s a lot of trouble for you. This most often occurs after feeding, handling or tank cleaning.
Prevent this by properly securing your pet’s tank each time after you open it. The best way to do so is to double-check. Always double checking takes up a little more time, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing your critter is safe.
Its tank got knocked over
If you have careless relatives, inquisitive children, or curious cats, your tarantula’s tank is at risk of getting knocked over. When the tank falls, it can easily break; lids and doors could fly open.
If your tarantula has an open door, it’ll go exploring. Moreover, tarantulas are delicate. The impact of a falling terrarium could damage or kill your pet.
Avoid this by keeping your tarantula’s enclosure in a safe, remote area. If necessary, place your tarantula in a room only you can access. Make sure the tank isn’t placed at the edge of a shelf, table or ledge. Additionally, make sure the platform supporting the tank is sturdy.
The best enclosures to prevent escaping
As you can see from the information above, most tarantulas escape because of terrarium issues. Having the right kind of tank prevents this. Continue reading below to learn more about the best enclosures for your tarantula.
What to look for in an enclosure
Before you purchase a tank for your tarantula, it pays to do some research so you make the best decision. There are quite a few questions you should consider, including:
- Is my tarantula terrestrial or arboreal?
- Does the tank offer enough space?
- Is the tank secure?
- Can I easily access the tank?
- Is the tank durable?
- Does the tank have ventilation?
It seems like a lot, but answering these questions is essential when it comes to purchasing the perfect terrarium.
Tarantula enclosures you will love
Not sure which enclosure to buy? Listed below, you’ll find some of the highest-rated terrariums on the market.
Exo Terra Glass Reptile Terrarium
Exo Terra is a trusted brand that produces high-quality products. This glass tank has patented ventilation, making for a comfortable living environment. This tank’s door is right on the front for easy access. It also has an escape-proof lock.
Also, this enclosure is deeper than aquarium tanks. This extended bottom surface leaves more room for your tarantula to explore. A natural-looking rock background is also built into this tank. It not only looks great but provides your tarantula with a place to climb and hide.
This tank is great for both arboreal and terrestrial tarantulas. Best of all, it comes in 12 different size options. You can check out this product here.
Repti Zoo Mini Glass Terrarium
Repti Zoo is another well known and trusted brand. Tarantula owners rave about this glass terrarium. It’s simply designed, with a sturdy, metal screen top that locks. It also features specially designed feeding ports to simplify mealtime.
It comes assembled, so there’s no hassle, and it’s lightweight. Want to view this product? Click here!
Hagen Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium
Best for terrestrial tarantulas, the Hagen Exo Terra Terrarium is specially designed by herpetologists. You have easy access through a front opening door and peace of mind with an escape-proof lock.
This enclosure features a full screen top, allowing for plenty of ventilation. Want to check out this highly recommended enclosure? Have a look at this tank here!
Zilla Vertical Tropical Kit
The Zilla Vertical terrarium is excellent for arboreal tarantulas. This terrarium comes with a secure front opening door for easy access. It also has a hinge screen top that offers plenty of ventilation.
Best of all, it includes some essential accessories including background decor, a feeding dish, and a mini halogen dome with a light bulb. Want to see why tarantula owners love this product so much? Click here!
What to do if your tarantula escaped
Even if you’re an expert in preventing your tarantula from escaping, accidents happen all the time. If it does, it’s best to be prepared. Below are some helpful tips on finding an escaped tarantula.
It’s easier said than done, but staying calm is imperative. You’ll need to think clearly to do your best detective work. You’ll have to know when the last time you saw your tarantula was, and be able to know the best places to check.
This all becomes much more difficult if you are freaking out.
If recent, barricade the doors.
If your tarantula just escaped, like after feeding, block off all escape routes out of the room. This way, you’ll know your spider is confined to one area. Searching one room is much easier than searching an entire home.
Check the surrounding areas.
Start inside the cage. Sometimes, tarantulas hide under structures in their cage. If not, work your way outward. Often, tarantulas do not stray too far.
Know what type of tarantula you own.
If your tarantula is arboreal, it’s going to climb. Check your walls, the corners of your ceiling, and shelves. If your tarantula is terrestrial, it’s going to be low to the ground. Look in the corners of the floor and under furniture.
Move objects slowly.
Finding your escaped tarantula feels like a race against the clock. When we rush, we tend to throw things and not be so gentle. However, it’s important to move objects carefully. Tarantulas have fragile exoskeletons. Moving objects carelessly put your pet at risk of injury.
Look in all the right places.
Not all hiding spots are equal. Your tarantula will hide where it feels most comfortable, and you’ll have to know where to look. Dark spaces are a favorite. Look in crevices, under objects and inside of unexpected areas.
Tarantulas love to take refuge inside of shoes. Also, tarantulas love warm, humid spaces. Look by heat vents and under electronic devices. If you think your tarantula escaped the room, check bathrooms as well.
Put out a bowl of water.
If you can’t immediately find your tarantula, put out a bowl of water. Eventually, your pet will get thirsty and search for a drink.
Most escaped tarantula stores have happy endings. It’s important not to lose hope. If you follow the steps above, you’ll find your fuzzy friend in no time.